October 2008 Archives

My lack of posting here is the result of travels the past few weeks.

First, I went to South Korea, where the Asian Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability invited me to speak at its opening conference, "New Vision and Strategies of Research Institutes for Sustainable Development."

Just yesterday I returned from Charleston, South Carolina, where I spoke as part of series of sustainability talks put together by Eve Blossom, founder of Lulan Artisans in Charleston. Eve, a diplomat and networker par excellence, guided me to meetings with longtime (32 years!!) Mayor Joe Riley, the Charleston Green Commitee, the Executive Directors of the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League and Sustainable Charleston, and others.



The South Korean event, held at Seoul National University was put together by Professor Ki-Ho Kim, of Seoul National's Graduate School of Environmental Studies. The Asian Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (AIEES) is launching a cross-discipline research and applied research body that will draw upon urban design, engineering, forestry, arhcitecture, environmental studies and materials sciences.

The approach of AIEES is to to collaborate with other universities (the Yale School of Forestry and Seoul National inked an agreement while I was there), business (we had dinner with the CEO of Samsung), government (South Korea's Environmental Minister attended, as did the planning director for Boston, Kairos Shen) and NGOs (a Chinese NGO was represented by a Peking University professor). 

In Charleston, that city has been kicking around sustainability in multi-stakeholder committees for the past year. My presentation showed how cities can be benchmarked according to sustainability indicators, which can then help prioritize where to begin taking action.

I recommended transit-oriented smart growth and reduced dependence on coal power as the two focal points for sustainability planning, and gave a few best practices and management approaches as to how this might be accomplished.

In any case, Charlestonians were in fine form--curious, intelligent, practical and enjoyable to visit with. I look forward to heading back there, either as a sustainability facilitator or as a tourist. The "City of Manners" is a fine showcase of antebellum architecture, all accessible over bluestone-paved sidewalks in a gorgeous bayside setting.  


Next week I will be back in Korea speaking at the new Asian Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (AIEES) at Seoul National University. Seoul National is the top-ranked university in South Korea.

The event is called "New Vision and Strategies of Research Institutes for Sustainable Development," and was put together by Professor Ki-Ho Kim, of Seoul National's Graduate School of Environmental Studies.

Professor Kim and I had lunch on the scenic campus on a warm March day during my US Department of State-sponsored tour of the nation. The university and the city of Seoul are hatching a plan to make the university campus a living model of a creative and green neighborhood, celebrating the arts, cultural attractions and the latest in sustainable urban planning, design and technology.


Also on the bill will be Christine Kim, Program Director of Yale's Environmental Performance Index, which ranks 149 countries on 25 sustainability indicators; Keisuke Hanaki, from the University of Tokyo; and Maanee Lee, Minister of the Environment for South Korea.


About the Author

    Warren Karlenzig
Warren Karlenzig, Common Current founder and president, has worked with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (lead co-author United Nations Shanghai Manual: A Guide to Sustainable Urban Development in the 21st Century, 2011); United Nations Center for Regional Development (training of mayors from 13 Asian nations on city sustainable economic development and technology); provinces of Guizhou and Guangdong, China (urban sustainability master planning and green city standards); the United States White House and Environmental Protection Agency (Eco-Industrial Park planning and Industrial Ecology primer); the nation of South Korea ("New Cities Green Metrics"); The European Union ("Green and Connected Cities Initiative"); the State of California ("Comprehensive Recycling Communities" and "Sustainable Community Plans"); major cities; and the world's largest corporations developing policy, strategy, financing and critical operational capacities for 20 years.

Present and recent clients include the Guangzhou Planning Agency; the Global Forum on Human Settlements; the Shanghai 2010 World Expo Bureau; the US Department of State; the Asian Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability; the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; the non-governmental organization Ecocity Builders; a major mixed-use real estate development corporation; an educational sustainability non-profit; and global corporations. Read more here.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from October 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

September 2008 is the previous archive.

November 2008 is the next archive.

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